In an effort to clear out inventory and lift slumping sales, Ford Motor Co.’s Lincoln brand is giving some of its lease customers an early exit, according to an article in today's Detroit News.
Through yearend, lessees with Mercury models or Lincoln MKZs can end their leases as much as six months early. In advance of the launch of Lincoln's brand-new MKZ luxury sedan, slated for later this quarter, current MKZ lessees can trade in for the 2012 MKZ model.
As for Mercury, even though the brand was cut by Ford in 2010, there are still drivers with its leases. Those customers, too, can trade in for new Lincoln cars.
“It’s not an unusual practice where you have a new model and, in this case, a new model that is redefining the brand,” said Edmunds.com auto analyst Michelle Krebs. “And with Mercury, they are trying to keep those customers in the Ford family.”
Sales have dropped 1.5% through September, and Lincoln continues to lag behind luxury brands such as Mercedes, BMW, Lexus, and Cadillac. Last year, Lincoln sales were fairly flat with data showing a decline of 0.2%.
Ford is spending $1 billion on a Lincoln overhaul in an effort to save the brand, which, at 65, is one of the oldest vehicle models. Trying to appeal to younger drivers will be included in the revamping process, according to the article.